Can My Child Refuse Visitation?
Child custody is a difficult matter, and can create emotional challenges for all parties involved, including the child or children. If your child is throwing tantrums at the thought of having to see their noncustodial parent, or is refusing to go to the planned visitations, it can make a difficult situation even more challenging. Giving in to your child and skipping a planned visitation could land you in court or result in additional legal challenges for you. So, is there any reason that your child can refuse to visit with their other parent? We will explore that more below.
Can a Child Refuse Visitation?
Visitation is a right held by the noncustodial parent. This right is awarded by the court in clear terms that must be adhered to by both parties. Because it is a right of the noncustodial parent, and not of the child, the child does not have grounds to deny or avoid it. The court awards the noncustodial parent visitation rights because it is believed to be in the best interest of the child to have a relationship with both of their parents.
The child does not have the right to choose whether or not they have visitation until they turn 18 and are no longer legally a minor. However, there may be valid reasons for adjusting or terminating visitation rights that you can pursue as their parent. For this reason, if your child is expressing fear or avoidance around visitations, it is important to really hear them out and understand their reasoning for not wanting to go.